There’s no greater Melbourne Cup trainer in the event’s 150 year history than Bart Cummings as he looks to extend his record to 13 in the 2011 event.
For most of the general public they couldn’t remember a time when Cummings wasn’t a prominent feature during the Melbourne Cup carnival and the majority of punters of probably backed one of his horses to victory along the way.
The question is though can Bart Cummings win that elusive 13th Melbourne Cup in 2011?
His chances boil down to two horses, Illo, a German import who’s had just the one Australian start and Precedence, a horse that’s been there before and we know a lot about.
Illo looks to be the pick of the two based on recent form but punters are wary of any horse that comes under the masters touch.
Illo currently sits at $21 with online bookmaker Luxbet while Precedence is a $41 chance.
With such a strong field assembled for this years Cup it’s going to take one of his best training performances yet to earn the prize this year with plenty working against him.
First of all Illo is his first ever Cup’s runner to come out of Europe.
That presents new challenges in itself with the timeframe a big issues because he’s had only a matter of weeks to get him right.
Fr Precedence it’s a different story as Cummings works to try and turn around his form back to the best we all know he can produce.
At 84 years of age the faint ticking of that lock can be heard in the back ground so you can bet he’s putting everything into it while he still can.
His Melbourne Cup record though speaks for itself with a who’s who of the event dating right back to 1965.
1965 Light Fingers:
It was Light Fingers in 1965 that gave Cummings his very first Melbourne Cup winner.He actually trained the quinella with Ziema coming home in second.
Cummings got the quinella again the very next year with light Fingers again featuring although this time she was second to Galilee.
1967 Red Handed:
One of the lesser rated Cup’s winner but they all count, this was also the first time his now famous green and gold diagonal stripes were worn to victory in the Cup.
1974 Think Big:
Once again it was a Cummings quinella with Think Big just getting up from Leilani near the line. This was also the first time prolific owner Dato Tan Chin Nam won the Cup.
1975 Think Big:
After going a full year without a race win Think Big turned it on again to win back to back Cups.
1977 Gold And Black:
An amazing training performance to bring Gold And Black back to health after he was feared permanently scarred after contracting pneumonia in the autumn.
Hyperno won the race but in tragic circumstances after he made contact with favourite Dulcify mid race. The contact caused Dulcify to break down almost immediately and ultimately he had to be destroyed due to a fractured pelvis.
1990 Kingston Rule:
He still holds the race record at 3:16.40 and was Darren Beadman’s first Melbourne Cup win.
1991 Let’s Elope:
Let’s Elope had a remarkable spring in 1991 winning four races on the trot, three of them at Group 1 level including the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double.
While known for running his horses on a quick backup into the Melbourne Cup saintly won the Cox Plate and didn’t race again until his Melbourne Cup win.
1999 Rogan Josh:
One of the best known stories of the Cup with owner Wendy Green driving an old car all the way from Darwin to be there on the day. He failed in both the Pinjarra and Bunbury Cup’s that year before running fourth in the Caulfield Cup and then claiming the Mackinnon Stakes Melbourne Cup double.
Written off by many Viewed found his best form when it mattered and turned around his form to win Cummings most recent Melbourne Cup.
It has an eerie similarity to this year especially with precedence who has seemingly been forgotten by many.
There are plenty who will follow the master into battle regardless though and if you’re one who’s keeping the faith then reward yourself with the best odds in the country.
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